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How do courts impact the business climate… really?

Georgia Harley's picture
Tim Cordell, Cartoonstock.com

We know that the justice system dampens the business climate in many of the countries where we work. In Bank reports, national strategies, and in common parlance, we lament that poorly performing courts delay business activity, undermine predictability, increase risks and constrain private sector growth. Going further, we conclude that weak justice systems disproportionately hamper micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) because they have less buffer to absorb these problems - which can become make-or-break for their businesses.

So that’s the ‘what’ but, precisely, how, do courts impact businesses?
 

What is so unique about the growth (or decline) of cities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia?

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture


Full infographic

This commentary first appeared on the UHC2030 website. Full list of authors: Craig Burgess, Anna MarriottKhuat Thi Hai Oanh, Bruno Rivalan, James Sale

Despite the international commitment to UHC, half of the world’s 7.3 billion people do not have access to essential health services; the number of people impoverished by health spending remains unchanged; and catastrophic health expenditure is on the rise. Health coverage has been increasing at a rate of just over 1% per year. 

What do we know about the development outcomes of LGBTI people?

Dominik Koehler's picture
We all know, sadly, that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people suffer discrimination and stigma. This happens around the world, particularly in developing countries.  But how does this discrimination affect their lives, their development outcomes? 

Let’s find out.
Shutterstock.com

The economic benefits of LGBTI inclusion

Georgia Harley's picture
Civil Rights Defenders/Photo: Vesna Lalic
Civil Rights Defenders/Photo: Vesna Lalic
Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people is an all too familiar story. Members of this community are frequent targets of violence and other human rights abuses, and often face prejudice and hardship at work, in their communities, and at home.

Action is needed to address these problems and ensure that everyone – regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity - has an equal chance to live a healthy and prosperous life
This is not only the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense: a growing body of evidence indicates that discrimination against LGBTI people has a negative economic impact on society.

E-bureaucracy: Can digital technologies spur public administration reform?

Zahid Hasnain's picture

Editor's note: This blog post is part of a series for the 'Bureaucracy Lab', a World Bank initiative to better understand the world's public officials.

Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank


“By introducing an automated customer management system we took a noose and put it around our own necks. We are now accountable!”

This reflection from a manager in the Nairobi Public Water and Sewerage utility succinctly captures the impact of MajiVoice, a digital system that logs customer complaints, enables managers to assign the issue to a specific worker, track its resolution, and report back to the customer via an SMS. As a result, complaint resolution rates have doubled, and the time taken to resolve complaints has dropped by 90 percent.

MajiVoice shows that digital technologies can dramatically improve public sector capacity and accountability in otherwise weak governance environments. But is this example replicable? Can the increasingly cheap and ubiquitous digital technologies—there are now 4.7 billion mobile phone users in the world—move the needle on governance and make bureaucrats more accountable?

Improving opportunities for Europe’s Roma children will pay off

Mariam Sherman's picture
Also available in: Spanish
 
Residents in La Paz use mobile phones to practice submitting feedback to their municipal government via the Barrio Digital tool.
Residents in La Paz use mobile phones to practice submitting feedback to their municipal government
via the Barrio Digital tool. (Photo: Barrios de Verdad team)
Information and communication technology (ICT) has expanded the frontiers of connectivity and communication. Nowadays, we don’t think twice before ordering an Uber or using Open 311 to report an issue to our municipality. In the developing world, the impact has been even greater. For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean, cellphone coverage increased from about 12 subscriptions per 100 people in 2000 to over 114 in 2014, and local governments are getting creative in using this technology to reach out to and engage with their citizens.

The city of La Paz in Bolivia is piloting a new tool called Barrio Digital—or Digital Neighborhood—to communicate more effectively and efficiently with citizens living in areas that fall within Barrios de Verdad, or PBCV, an urban upgrading program that provides better services and living conditions to people in poor neighborhoods.

The goals of Barrio Digital are to:
  1. Increase citizen participation for evidence-based decision-making,
  2. Reduce the cost of submitting a claim and shorten the amount of time it takes for the municipality to respond, and
  3. Strengthen the technical skills and capacity within the municipality to use ICT tools for citizen engagement. 

Invitation to apply for SAFE grants

Soukeyna Kane's picture

Líderes comunitarios discuten sistemas de prevención de la violencia en la comunidad de San Juan de Floresta in Loreto, Perú. Foto: G Shannon, DB Peru

Las comunidades del bajo Napo con las que estamos trabajando en el marco del inminente proyecto para la Prevención de la Violencia de Género en la Región Amazónica del Perú (en adelante, el Proyecto GAP, por su sigla en inglés) están pasando por un proceso de transición a la modernidad en el que el mayor acceso al transporte, las telecomunicaciones y los medios de información ha significado una transformación de la vida comunitaria. Esto ha coincidido con la creciente preocupación frente a la violencia de género: cifras recientes del distrito de Mazán, una localidad aislada a orillas del bajo Napo, muestran que el 79 % de las mujeres de entre 18 y 29 años de edad declara haber sufrido violencia sexual en algún momento de sus vidas.

“Say it loud, say it clear: refugees are welcome here”

Ellen Goldstein's picture

Read this post in English, Español

Jim Yong Kim哲学家杜威曾经写道:“真正懂得思考的人,从失败和成功中学得一样多!”

作为世界银行集团的行长,在这个我们每天都在为一个“没有贫困的世界“而奋斗的地方,我面对面地遭遇如何将失败变为学习过程的问题。每个死于可预防的疾病的母亲或孩子,每个无法让人民吃饱肚子的国家,都在提醒我们,当我们遭遇失败且往往是悲剧性的失败时,我们没有从中学到应当学到的那么多东西。

在过去10年,许多国际社会领导人都十分重视衡量结果和从成功与失败中学习。在世行,当前的挑战是要开发能够加快我们从错误和成功中学习的能力的工具。我相信通讯技术和信息处理的革命性进步,与对失败的开明态度相结合,就能够帮助我们转变对实现发展成果的能力的追求,即使是最贫困国家也不例外。

Part of the #Youthbiz movement? Share your story!

Valerie Lorena's picture
In Moldova, waiting for the snow to melt

Свежее зимнее утро, и из окна своего офиса я вижу город со стороны. Он черно-белый. Белый из-за зданий, построенных из известняка, который добыли в старых шахтах, в которых теперь размещаются винные погреба. Черный из-за деревьев и их теней на заснеженных улицах, парках и площадях. Но это только вид из моего окна.

What’s proactive governance?

Ravi Kumar's picture
 Maria Fleischmann / World Bank

Mexico created over 60,000 jobs between 1993 to 2000 upgrading the apparel value chain from assembly to direct distribution to customers.  (Photo: Maria Fleischmann / World Bank)

As we discussed in our previous post, Global Value Chains can lead to the creation of more, inclusive and better jobs. GVCs can be a win-win for firms that create better jobs while they enjoy greater efficiency, productivity, and profits. However, there is a potential trade-off between increasing competitiveness and job creation, and the exact nature of positive labor market outcomes depends on several parameters. Given the cross-border (and, therefore, multiple jurisdictive) nature of GVCs, national policy choices to strengthen positive labor outcomes are limited. However, national governments can make policy decisions to facilitate GVC participation that is commensurate with positive labor market outcomes.


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